Can you get a refund for your holiday to Greece as Scotland imposes quarantine rules on holidaymakers
HOLIDAYMAKERS have once more had plans thrown into chaos with those returning to Scotland from Greece now having to quarantine.
The Scottish government confirmed the new measures will come into place from 4am tomorrow (September 3) amid Covid-19 fears.
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It means Scots returning home from Greece will need to self-isolate for two weeks unless they can get back before the new rules take force.
But the quarantine measures for those returning from Greece haven't been extended elsewhere around the UK.
Currently, quarantine measures exist for UK passengers returning from countries including Croatia, France, and Spain.
Separately, tour operator TUI has cancelled all trips from the UK to the resort of Laganas on the Greek island of Zante after it said some customers failed to follow coronavirus guidelines.
HERE’S a full list of the countries you can currently visit (as of September 2) without needing to quarantine on your return to the UK:
- Akrotiri and Dhekelia
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba
- British Antarctic Territory
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- the Channel Islands
- Falkland Islands
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Greece (you will need to quarantine if returning to Scotland)
- Hong Kong
- the Isle of Man
- Macao (Macau)
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands
- San Marino
- South Korea
- South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
- St Barthélemy
- St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- St Vincent and the Grenadines
- Vatican City State
It comes after 16 passengers on a TUI flight from Zante to the UK were found to have contracted the virus.
But what does this mean for your holiday, and can you get a refund? We take a look at your rights below.
I’ve got separate flights and hotels booked – can I get a refund?
If your flight is still going ahead, and your hotel remains open, your first step should be to speak to each individual operator.
Unfortunately, you may not be able to claim a refund if your flight or hotel hasn’t been cancelled.
And as we've seen with Spain, many airlines have continued to fly leaving customers struggling to get a refund.
Some companies may let you rearrange your trip for free – although they don't have to do this, and it depends on when you're due to travel.
For example, Ryanair will let you change some flights booked in July, August, and September for free – but not all flights are covered so check the exclusions carefully.
easyJet meanwhile will waive fees if you change fares online more than 14 days before travel.
Where flights to and from Greece and Scotland are cancelled, you're entitled to an alternative flight or a full cash refund under EU laws.
For hotel bookings, contact your provider to check what cancellation policy it has in place – but you will be relying on its goodwill as technically it can still provide the service you've paid for.
I’ve got a package holiday booked – can I get a refund?
Where Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice is not to travel most package providers will cancel trips and offer full refunds.
But this hasn't always been happening during the coronavirus crisis, with some firms continuing to run trips and others saying they'll only refund hotel and transfer costs with airline refunds only being paid if and when tour operators receive this cash.
So here, you're also at the mercy of package providers to either cancel trips, meaning you can get a full refund, or to allow you to change or cancel trips as a goodwill measure.
What should you look for in a good travel insurance policy?
TRAVEL insurance policies can vary a great deal, but here are some “must have
- Medical expenses – A good policy will give cover of £1million or more for travel in Europe and £2million or more for the USA
- Repatriation service – The costs of getting you back to the UK for medical reasons should be covered automatically by your policy
- Cancellation and curtailment – A good policy will cover you for £2,000 or more if you have to cancel or shorten your holiday
- Missed departure – Covers additional accommodation costs and travel expenses up to £500 or more if you miss your flight due to circumstances out of your control
- Delay – You'll usually be covered for £250 or more if your travel plans are delayed due to circumstances out of your control
- Baggage cover – Covers you if your baggage is lost, damaged or stolen. Look for policies that have cover of £1,500 or more.
It’s crucial you wait for the tour operator to cancel your trip though – if you cancel the trip yourself without permission from the travel company, you won’t be entitled to a refund.
But it's worth speaking to your provider to see if it will offer a goodwill refund, voucher or alternative trip.
TUI, for example, has said it will continue to run trips between Greece and Scotland despite the quarantine rules.
But it says customers who no longer want to travel on these routes can cancel and get a full refund or rearrange their trip fee free, although they will have to pay for any difference in price.
Meanwhile, given TUI has cancelled trips to and from the UK and Laganas in Zante, affected holidaymakers are entitled to full refunds.
Consumer organisation Which? notes how online travel agents, where you pick a hotel and flight to create a package, may not cancel trips.
Can I claim from my card provider or travel insurer instead?
Always go to your travel provider in the first instance.
If your provider is refusing to cancel flights, hotels, or holidays you're unlikely to be able to get a refund from your card provider as tecnhically the service you paid for is still going ahead.
Section 75 and Chargeback rules cover debit card and credit card purchases where you don't get the service you paid for.
When it comes to travel insurance, you may be entitled to make a claim – but this largely depends on when you took out the insurance.
Policies purchased before coronavirus was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation on March 11 may include cover for coronavirus-related travel disruption and cancellations.
But most new policies now have clauses that won't cover holiday cancellations due to coronavirus.
Check your insurance carefully to see what cover you have – if in doubt, speak to your provider.
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